Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Hanging cuffs

It was 4th January and I was to take part in my first C18th event on 6th January. Despite not having a gown, I would at least make myself some hanging cuffs. They may not be 100% accurate, but they did their job and looked pretty!

I started with 2 pieces of white cotton fabric measuring about 31" in length. I then measured 6" half way along (this is how much I wanted my cuffs to hang) and then at either end 3", adding on seam allowance. I joined my pencil marks to make a curved line and then cut out the pieces. I then hemmed the ends and curved line.

After this I did a gathering stitch along the straight edge and gathered the cuff equal to the measurement of my arm just above the elbow. I then covered the gathered edge with some cotton tape, sewn down on both sides. I sewed the ends of the cuffs together at this point. Hey presto, I had a pair of cuffs...

However, I did think them a bit plain and so I wanted to jazz them up a bit with some blue trim to go with the rest of my outfit. I popped over to a haberdashery shop in a local town in the hope of them having something, otherwise I would be driving around to various shops on a hunt. To my delight they had some suitable looking blue lace so I bought 2m. When I got home, I sewed the lace to the edge of my cuffs.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Sewing Days

From 28th-30th December, I spent my time sewing with my friend Lidi. The main aim was to fit our friend for stays and make a start on those as we said we would make her a pair for her birthday.

On the 28th, we fitted her, made the pattern and roughly cut out all the pieces ready to be sewn the following day. In the evening Lidi kindly pinned the hem for my blue silk petticoat, which I sewed that night whilst Lidi continued with her Jacobean sleeves.

Lidi went off to an C18th sewing day with her dance group on the 29th, so I spent the day by myself making the stays. I neatened up all the pieces, apart from the two centre back panels (I saved these til last) and tacked the side seams before sewing the bone channels using my sewing machine. When this was done, I trimmed and sewed down the seam allowance and started sewing all the panels together. I managed to finish this within about 12 hours and so afterwards I made my friend's petal pad and adjusted the hooks and eyes on my petticoat (as it was a bit too big) and Lidi continued with her sleeve and started adjustments on her Jacobean gown.

During the morning on the 30th, Lidi draped a pattern for my C18th Polonaise gown bodice which was really cool (and very much appreciated!). It took all morning because I was wearing my stays and so I wasn't much use! After a spot of lunch, we decided to put the boning into the stays and Lidi made a start on binding them.